There are reasons to pick organic produce that have nothing to do with pesticide ingestion; to start, organic farming is far gentler on the environment than conventional, pesticide-reliant agriculture. But with food prices rising, it’s hard to buy only organic produce. Sometimes you may have to go conventional—but there are better and worse choices.
The Environmental Working Group, in addition to putting out a list of produce to avoid, has also released a “Clean Fifteen” list of fruits and vegetables that are relatively unlikely to be contaminated by pesticides. The EWG found that 90% of the samples of the top three fruits and vegetables on the list contained no pesticides at all. And very few samples of any of the top 15 showed more than one kind of pesticide.
Many of these fruits and vegetables have protective coverings that protect the edible interior from pests naturally. The coverings also help keep any pesticides that are used off the part of the plant you eat.
Here’s the full list of the most pesticide-free fruits and vegetables in non-organic form:
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
9. Cantaloupe (Domestic)
13. Sweet Potatoes